Today’s blog is guest post from Haley Kieser.
One of the best feelings is walking into a clean, organized home–and knowing you live there. But reaching this utopian-like state can seem impossible, or even downright irresponsible with the news of climate change and overflowing landfills trending on social media. You brought this stuff into your home, now it’s your job to figure out what to do with it. Here are a few ways to declutter your living space in an eco-friendly way.
Repurpose and Reuse
While going through the process of getting rid of excess clutter, you have to organize all of your stuff. Yes, all of it. And while this may seem daunting, it’s the only way to ensure you create the space of your dreams in an environmentally responsible way. So put on your favorite playlist and get started. Create piles for things you want to keep, donate, sell, and recycle. Most times the trash and recycle piles can contain more stuff that is of use than you originally thought. Old clothing makes a great paper towel substitute and can be repurposed as rags. Perhaps you dig through the kitchen and find baskets and bowls that could instead be used for organizational purposes. And in your closet may live unused lotions, soaps, and any other packaged goods that you can either remember to use in the future or re-gift. Realizing what you actually own is a sustainable way of giving new life to old items so you won’t buy more and helps you decide how you’re going to get rid of all your stuff.
Sell Your Stuff
You can earn a few extra bucks from the stuff of value you no longer want or need. Host a garage or stoop sale and spread the word through social media to save paper. Or use websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to sell your stuff online. And if you’re truly overwhelmed and don’t know the value of your items, throw some money at the problem and hire a local estate sale company who can handle everything for you. Although this will take away from your own profits, it will ensure all your items end up in the right place (and not just in the trash).
Donate When Possible
It’s easy to look for the trash can first, but many of your items will probably be in good condition for other people to use. There are lots of organizations that will take your things for a worthy cause, such as Dress For Success, The Bowery Mission, your nearby GoodWill, and other local thrift stores. Animal shelters will also take things like towels, sheets, and scrap fabric that can be used to keep animals warm and dry. Preschools and childcare centers will accept toys in working conditions, and food banks and rescue missions will take food and beverages that have not expired yet. And research local drop boxes in your neighborhood where you can leave usable clothing and shoes. A simple Google search can show up endless opportunities for giving back (and cleaning up).
For the Big Stuff
For certain larger items you simply don’t know where to put or donate, it may be necessary to call in the big guns. A junk removal service or hauling company will ensure that your stuff (or junk for lack of a better word) is properly recycled, donated, and disposed of responsibly. They can take everything from old electronics, carpets, furniture, mattress’, scrap metals, to even pool tables and pianos. Be sure to book an appointment in advance.
Keep Your Space Clutter Free
After you’ve gone through all the hard work of cleaning out your space in an environmentally-friendly way, the next challenge is sustaining that neatness and mindset. Remember how your clean space makes you feel next time you go shopping and ask yourself these questions: “Do I really need this item?” “Do I have room for it when I get home?” “Why am I actually buying this item?” Changing your mindset and evaluating each purchase will help you shift away from shopping as a hobby and making impulse purchases, thus keeping your space free from clutter. This will save money in your pocket as well as a little future waste that contributes to further polluting the planet. A.k.a it’s a win-win for you and the Earth.